Do vegetarians get enough protein?
Yes! It’s easy to obtain the daily recommended amount of protein on a vegetarian and vegan diet. A few good sources of protein include beans, tofu, seitan, whole grains, nuts, peas, quinoa, brown rice, and seeds. The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) recommends that we take in 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram we weigh.
Is a vegetarian or vegan diet healthy for kids?
According to the The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “well-planned vegetarian and vegan eating patterns are healthy for infants and toddlers.” Furthermore, “well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.” More information is available from the Physicians for Responsible Medicine and the Vegetarian Resource Group.
If you don’t drink milk, where do you get calcium from?
Milk is the perfect food for baby calves -- but not for humans! And with all the calcium-rich vegetarian foods available, there’s really no need for humans to consume cow’s milk. Good sources of calcium for vegetarians include kale, collard greens, broccoli, calcium-fortified soy and almond milks, fortified juice, soybeans, bok choy, and dried figs. The calcium in these dark green leafy vegetables is also absorbed about twice as well as the calcium in milk, according to Dr. Michael Greger at NutritionFacts.org. Vegetarian foods also pack a powerful nutritional punch. Dairy products, on the other hand, are the number one source of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Dairy also contains harmful cholesterol, antibiotics, pesticides, and pus.
Do I need to take supplements on a vegetarian diet?
A well-balanced vegetarian diet will generally give you an abundance of all the nutrients your body needs. However, there is one vitamin that many vegetarians choose to supplement their diet with -- vitamin B-12. Made by bacteria, vitamin B-12 can be obtained in fortified dairy-free milks and vegetarian meat products. But because it is such a vital nutrient, supplementation of it is also an easy solution. Regular blood tests taken at hospitals or doctors’ offices can also help you determine your personal nutrition needs.